Mark and I met Jim Rosenheim of Tiny Jewel Box at the JA show in New York City in 1986. It was our first time attending the JA trade show, and we were barely 25 years old, but I remember it just like yesterday! Jim walked by our booth and introduced himself. He was curious about us and about the jewelry we were making. He asked questions, congratulated us on our designs and remarked on the quality of our craftsmanship. He was warm and cordial and has remained the same in our interactions 31 years later. We were so happy to see that Jim was the recipient of this year’s GEM Award Lifetime Achievement. A very charismatic person, Jim has contributed so much to this industry by recognizing young talents and advising them. He has spread his vast industry knowledge among designers, retailers, stone dealers and countless others.
1- What do you like the most about the jewelry industry?
I love the jewelry, the people, my staff, the designers and my terrific customers. If you treat people nicely, they respond and relationships get built.
Every time I see you at a trade show, you are like a kid in a candy store, full of energy. I have also seen you walk the show and noticed that you stop to look at almost every booth.
2- What are you looking for every time you attend these shows?
Attending a show is like a treasure hunt for me. I like the whole experience of it, I like walking around and It was the same when I was a kid. It’s a thrill finding undiscovered designers or a new idea. I am always looking for the next Alex Sepkus, Paul Morelli or Mark Patterson.
I admire the enthusiasm that you and your wife Marcia share while perusing new designs at the jewelry shows. Marcia has a great sense of style and always wears beautiful pieces.
3- How much influence does Marcia have in helping you merchandise the store?
Marcia is not as active as she use to be in the family business, but she is always with us on buying trips and if she can’t make it, Anne is there. Marcia has a very good eye and she brings the perspective of a woman into the whole experience, something that is very valuable to our success in merchandising.
I have gotten to know your son, Matthew, and he has a demeanor very much like yours, straight forward and positive. It is great to see you working together as a family.
4- Was Mathew always interested in being part of Tiny Jewel Box? Did he dabble in other industries? How would you recommend introducing the second generation to a family jewelry business?
Matthew is actually the third generation working at TJB. He use to work in the store while he was in high school and College so he could make his decision to come into the family business. It wasn’t until his 3rd year in College that he made that decision. When Matthew finished College I insisted that he finished his jewelry education by going to GIA and working for someone else in the industry. He finished GIA and came in during the first expansion of our space. I turned everything over to him involving him in the building of the space. Looking back to my own experience joining the business, I recognized the difficulties I had with my dad and didn’t want to go through it with my son. I gave him a list of what to do and not to do, he was very respectful, he really listened and we work very well together. He is a good people person, he is very organizational and he brings a different aesthetic. He is a better business man and less emotional which makes us great business partners. You can’t treat the young generation like kids, you have to give them a task and treat them with respect.
Congratulations on your GEM Award Lifetime Achievement and thank you for being you. It is always a pleasure to work with you and your team.